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Ask Max: Using Disk Space to its Full Potential

Asked on 05/26/2006:

I am a big fan of your company and have purchased a G5, FCP Studio and a video editing deck from you. I would appreciate your advice on the best way to use my storage capabilities. My main system is a G5 2.7 (internal 250 GB). I also have two LaCie external drives: 400GB Big Disk Extreme and a 160 GB LaCie Porsche.

All of my apps are on the G5. I store my iPhoto library on the 400GB, and the iTunes on the 160 GB. Here’s my usage:

•G5 250 GB internal: available: 21 GB
•400 GB external: available: 309 GB
•160 GB external: available: 99 GB

My question is: With 810GB in three drives what’s the best way to use this capability, from the following perspectives:

Where to store what (should all apps be on the G5, for example), best solution to protect / backup the various files (right now I’m using my .Mac account to backup the G5 only)

Are there other considerations as well?


It looks to me that you have an abundance of storage space available. Even though you have nearly a Terabyte I am going to recommend that you get more. I would recommend that you buy another 500GB internal SATA hard drive. This will become your main boot drive. You should store all of your photos, MP3s and applications on it. Centralize your data. Many people have reported problems when keeping their iTunes and iPhoto libraries off the boot volume. As those libraries grow, you may have problems if they are on external drives. The added internal drive will also free up your 250GB hard drive to become a scratch drive for Final Cut. A good scratch disk is going to be one that has no long-term data on it. After each project is done the drive should be reformatted. This will give you the best configuration for your video editing work. As for your external drives, they have their place in this setup too. The 400GB drive should now be your backup drive for the 500GB internal drive. Make regular backups with Carbon Copy Cloner to that drive so you always have a bootable backup. Keep that drive in a safe place and turned off most of the time. The 160GB will become your project storage and transportation drive. I think that will be your best solution for your needs.

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